“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” 2 Corinthians 8:2-4
The local church is at its best when it is generous to others in tough times. Paul was bragging in the above text about the Macedonians, who even though poor, were excited about an opportunity to be generous to another congregation that was in peril.
Recently, the most destructive wildfire in the history of Colorado swept through the Black Forest area of our community, leveling over 500 homes and killing two people. Over 20 families in our congregation lost almost everything in the blazes, many left with only a few belongings and the clothes they were wearing.
Immediately our community rallied with food, shelter, and boarding for the displaced. This past week, our ministry team visited those affected in the congregation and hand delivered some monies that had been given. The stories that came from these meetings reminded me of this scripture. No one expected the gift that was given but they sure were thankful. For some, the money will help them get back home quicker and for others it will help ease the pain of recovery.
For centuries, Christ followers have been generous givers, both with their money and their time. This scripture also gives us a better definition of generosity. Often we think only large gifts are generous, when that is not the case. Generosity is the grace to give sacrificially no matter the amount. Generosity is an attitude that compels us to help, to bless others with whatever is in our hands at the moment.
Generous people are a reflection of our God, who is a generous giver, bountiful with all that He has. I am grateful to lead a generous congregation that has discovered once again the joy of giving as much as we are able in times of very real trials.
Because of the size and scope of the wildfires, the needs in our community will continue for some time. If you want to participate in giving to those in need, click on the “Black Forest” banner at the top of our our website.